Joan Of Leeds set for festive premiere

London theatre news: Friday 1 November 2019

Off-West End - Shows

Breach Theatre's first ever Christmas show will get its world premiere next month at New Diorama Theatre.
Joan Of Leeds at New Diorama Theatre

Image courtesy New Diorama Theatre

Breach Theatre will return to New Diorama theatre this festive season with their first ever Christmas show - Joan of Leeds - scheduled for a world premiere run from 3 to 21 December 2019.

The show is based on a fascinating and scandalous true story based in a 14th Century Yorkshire convent.

In this cloistered location Sister Joan is blessed with unholy visions which, together with ensuing actions - cause a scandal in the order.

However, Joan is determined to spread her new carnal creed ... even if it means getting a touch creative.

Joan of Leeds promises to add a raucously funny seasonal twist to Breach's signature combination of incisive storytelling, theatrical invention and the deployment of history to comment on contemporary society.

The show borrows its structure from the early medieval Mystery Plays, which mixed verse and choral music to tell stories from the bible, but Breach have modernised the ancient genre with a sharp contemporary reinvention, mixing verse and dialogue with a psychedelic 70s aesthetic and folk-rock soundtrack, feminist undertones, uproarious humour and a healthy does of festive spirit.

Joan of Leeds is co-written by Breach's Billy Barrett and Ellice Stevens, with music by James Frewer - whose credits include Middle Child Theatre's mega hits All We Ever Wanted Was Everything and The Canary and the Crow.

The cast includes Rachel Barnes and Laurie Jamieson, both of whom also starred as actor-musicians in The Canary and the Crow at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, alongside Bryony Davies (Macbeth, Royal Exchange, A Girl In School Uniform (Walks Into A Bar), New Diorama), Olivia Hirst (Artistic Director of LostWatch Theatre, star of Secret Life of Humans, and co-writer and star of The Incident Room - both New Diorama Theatre) and Alex Roberts (The Wardrobe Ensemble's Rocky Shock).

Breach Theatre is an associate ensemble at New Diorama.

The company's previous plays include The Beanfield, Fringe First winner Tank, and Fringe First, The Stage and Untapped Award winner It's True It's True It's True which restaged the 1612 trial surrounding the rape of artist Artemisia Gentileschi and will transfer to The Barbican's Pit in spring 2020.

Show listing information


"She perverted her path of life arrogantly to the way of carnal lust ... to the notorious peril to her soul."

In a 14th Century Yorkshire convent Sister Joan is blessed with unholy visions.

A seductive serpent and sinful saints exalt the earthly pleasures of forbidden sex.

Her visions cause a scandal in the order but Joan's determined to spread her new carnal creed ... even if it means getting a little creative.

An obscene medieval mystery play with live music, based on the miraculous true story of a nun on the run.

A new Christmas show by multi award-winning devised theatre makers Breach. 


Rachel Barnes

Bryony Davies

Olivia Hirst

Laurie Jamieson

Alex Roberts


Author: Billy Barrett and Ellice Stevens
Composer: James Frewer
Director: Billy Barrett
Designer: Lizzy Leech
Musical direction: James Frewer
Lighting: Alex Fernandes
Sound: Owen Crouch
Production: Breach; Ellie Claughton


New Diorama Theatre
15-16 Triton Street
Regents Place


From: Tuesday 3 December 2019

Closed: Saturday 21 December 2019


Previews: £3 (JSA)

Standard: £16


Show website
ActDrop full listing for Joan Of Leeds

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